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Colloquium: Ethan Zuckerman, "How Wide a Web"
Colloquium: Ethan Zuckerman (Berkman Center for Internet and Society, Harvard University), "How Wide a Web"
Monday, November 29, 2010 | 4:00pm - 6:00pm
The internet enables unprecedented connections across international borders. Whether we read a daily newspaper from India, send technical drawings to a factory in China, or use Skype video to meet a friend's child in Japan, we are engaged in activity that would have been impossible or prohibitively expensive two decades ago. Much of the discourse around globalizing technologies suggests that we're experiencing a inexorable flattening of the world, interacting with an increasingly diverse mix of people and ideas from around the world. The picture from contemporary communications scholarship is more complicated—the vast majority of online connection is domestic, and shifts in media ecosystems mean there is less professional reporting of international issues than in the 1970s. At an historical moment where threats and opportunities demand global perspective, offline and online media may be turning us into "imaginary cosmopolitans" who perceive themselves as more globally connected than they actually are.
Zuckerman's work for the past decade as an academic and as an activist has focused on documenting and mapping patterns of media attention in online and offline media, and building tools that use the internet to enable connection across national borders. He will present a current research project, Media Cloud, which is a platform for the quantitiative study of online media. he will also introduce a set of projects associated with Global Voices that use curation and translation of civic media to encourage cultural bridging.